Can I sue the man who sold me my home regarding non-disclosure of a leak?
Question Details: About 6 months ago, I bought a home. I recently discovered a very old leak in the ceiling of my garage, underneath the bathroom. This bathroom was remodeled from a laundry room. I found out the seller did not get a permit for any renovations that he did in the home. This leak could not have gone unnoticed. The joist is just about rotted through completely. Legally speaking, can I do anything?
You can sue the seller for fraud. Fraud is the intentional misrepresentation or nondisclosure of a material fact made with knowledge of its falsity and with the intent to induce your reliance upon which you justifiably relied to your detriment.
In other words, you would not have bought the house, had you known its true condition.
Damages (monetary compensation you are seeking in a lawsuit) for fraud would be either the benefit of the bargain or your out of pocket loss.
Benefit of the bargain means a defrauded purchaser may recover the difference between the real and represented value of the property regardless of the fact that actual loss suffered might have been less.
Out of pocket determination of damages for fraudulent misrepresentation permits recovery of the difference between the price paid and actual value of the property acquired.